Michael Dell To Security Partners: End-To-End Solutions Are Just The Beginning

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell Monday told 600 security solution providers at the first-ever Dell Security Peak Performance Conference that the ability to provide end-to-end IT solutions provides his company with a compelling advantage going forward.

"There was some real interesting news last week about not end-to-end solutions," said Dell, referring to the news last week that both Hewlett-Packard and Symantec were splitting up their businesses. "We continue to believe that being able to bring a complete set of solutions is very important."

The ability to bring a complete set of solutions from desktop to data center is becoming more powerful as Dell tightly integrates security into its end-to-end portfolio, he said.

[Related: Dell Security VP: Companies Splitting Apart Are Making A Mistake]

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"Security is not a new thing for us," Dell told partners. "It was part and parcel of what we did in the data center and the client businesses. But now we are weaving them together in profound ways. Think about endpoint encryption and how do we bring network security and the network together. Think about what is going on in converged infrastructure. We are building a complete set of solutions."

The company this week laid out its security road map for partners, which includes a first-quarter 2015 commitment to integrate encryption all the way from client devices to networking and to add new functionality that brings Dell security directly into network switches. The company also is planning Apple iOS mobile device security support in the fourth quarter.

Dell's stepped-up offensive to weave security into an end-to-end IT portfolio comes amid last week’s news that HP plans to separate into two publicly traded Fortune 50 companies: a $57 billion PC and printing business and a $57 billion enterprise computing business. Just three days after HP’s announcement, Symantec said it was splitting its $4.2 billion security business apart from its $2.5 billion storage business.

Michael Dell said he made the decision to make the Round Rock, Texas-based company a bigger player in security as many as six years ago when he started asking customers about the big unsolved problems of the future.

"Invariably at the very top of the list was security," he said, noting customers were worried and unsure how to address the endless barrage of security threats. "The higher up you went in the organization, the more concern there was. The CIO was concerned. The CFO was more concerned. The CEO was even more concerned. And the board was even more concerned than the CEO. I think it comes back to when you are in a business, your business is about trust and confidence and assurance. The threats and challenges out there are not slowing down."

Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Dell partner, said he sees Dell's ability to provide end-to-end IT solutions with security deeply integrated into the full portfolio as a unique competitive advantage.

The Dell Security conference is taking place as security breaches continue at a breakneck pace. Retailer Kmart is the latest to reveal it has been the target of a security breach., informing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a filing last Friday that its information technology team discovered that its payment data systems had been breached.

Goldstein said LAN Infotech’s Dell SonicWall security business is up about 15 percent this year, with 95 percent of customers buying Dell SonicWall solutions.

The robust investment from Dell has made a difference in the security market, he said. "I think the idea of Dell as a private one-source stop for technology solutions including security is a big differentiator for Dell," Goldstein said.

Michael Dell, for his part, said Dell Security has made "very good progress" with "significant strength in network security, endpoint encryption, identity and access management and [Dell] SecureWorks."

Dell SecureWorks’ massive threat intelligence operation has been able to identify threats and then share that threat intelligence with SonicWall, giving Dell a unique capability to prevent security breaches, he said. "That ability to undertand all those threats across SecureWorks and Sonicwall is really tremendous," he said.

Michael Dell is scheduled to speak in a fireside chat with CRN parent The Channel Company CEO Robert Faletra at the BoB Conference Monday evening.